After being really rather confused by #11 of this series, this next issue righted the ship as Fraction and Sebela decided to do what Mark Waid has been doing on Hulk and forget about explaining the minutiae of time-travel and just have fun with it. This was a satisfying conclusion to a two-parter I was initially iffy on, and since it’s the end of Fraction’s run as proper writer, it ended on a very exciting note that I’m excited to see Karl Kesel pick up on.
The story here picks up with half of the FF family (Ben, Sue and Franklin) stuck in present-day Celeritas with the ‘Time-Terrorists’ and the other half (Reed, Val, Johnny and the other Johnny) stuck in the past. The two sides meet up, fight some dinosaurs, and are stranded by the Time Terrorists, until the Terrorists’ grandchildren come back in time to save them and give them a newly souped-up Fantasticar (is the ship the team are using called the Fantasticar? Does it even have a name?).
It was all fairly light and breezy, especially with the way Franklin used his powers, which is always great to see, and with the way Fraction and Sebela wrote Future-Johnny Storm, how he seemed to both know and not know what the future hold.
Of course, there is an undercurrent of darkness to Fraction’s run, and that was present here in the continuing breakdown of the team’s powers. We see Sue once again suffer an attack of the invisible body-parts, and Ben’s rocks seem to falling off even faster, and that last page… holy crap! All of Ben’s rocks have fallen off and he looks like a disgusting pink mess. Mark Bagley hit that just right, but then, he gets most everything right, he’s just a perfect old-school superhero artist.
This power-degradation thing is very interesting to me, especially since we haven’t seen it have any effects on Johnny Storm. Is he immune? Or is his breakdown mentally? Future Johnny certainly seems a little crazy over in the FF book.
Whilst I’m still a bit annoyed that Matt Fraction is leaving the Fantastic Four titles to go write characters that are essentially FF spin-offs, I’ve enjoyed his run, and even if he’s not writing it, I think both Kesel and Allred are capable enough writers that this story can be seen through to it’s proper conclusion, and hey, Inhumanity will probably be great.